The Black Institute Launches THE G PROJECT
On Monday, the Black Institute (TBI) launched a new public awareness campaign, the G Project, at the 46th Annual West Indian Day Celebration. This innovative campaign is a further attempt to impact public support for Comprehensive Immigration Reform by shifting the public perception of immigrants in this country. This will be achieved by identifying and classifying African Americans from immigrant backgrounds as:
G or 0-G: a Black immigrant who has immigrated to the US from Africa, the Caribbean, or South America.
G-1: the sons and daughters of Blacks who immigrated to the US.
G-2: the grandsons and granddaughters of black immigrants.
G-3: the great grandsons and great granddaughters of black immigrants.
While The Black Institute focuses primarily on Black immigrants, this system can be applied to the Asian American, European American, and Latino communities as well. It is an equalizing way to portray the origins of African Americans and to highlight the contributions and the lineage of many prosperous individuals, from activists and community leaders, to journalists and politicians. In turn, this will also emphasize the profound social and political effect that African Americans from immigrant backgrounds will have on government, the economy, and in constructing a new meaning of what it means to be black and an immigrant in the United States.
"There is no better place to commence the G Project than at the West Indian Day Parade and Carnival," Bertha Lewis, president of the Black Institute said. "The five day long festival is a celebration of Afro-Caribbean culture and perfectly showcases why the G Project is so important. We want to expose the diverse backgrounds and unique experiences of people of color that are all too often glossed over by broad generalities. The West Indian community is just one of the many pockets of Black immigrants in the United States that the G Project will raise public awareness about. In doing so, we hope to show just how impactful the Black immigrant community is to American political and social life. Today marks the 45th Anniversary of one the largest cultural celebrations in the country. The Black Institute is excited and honored to take part in it as we take another step towards Comprehensive Immigration reform with the launch of the G Project."
The G Project will achieve this through the following efforts, including but not limited to:
- Public awareness events, educational forums and summits featuring prominent African Americans from immigrant backgrounds. These forums will be held at universities and other venues that encourage public discourse.
- Researching, identifying, and disseminating the G status of the famous and the influential, from recognizable faces in sports and entertainment to politicians, activists, and leaders affecting social change.
- Polling and surveying of African American voters, as well as civilians at colleges, workplaces, residences, and public events.
- Social media campaigns that utilize Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and other outlets.
- Video postings on Youtube portraying people who identify as G's, along with TED broadcasts of forums.
- HBCU tours during the summer that engage students to identify G's on campus.
- Educating electoral districts about the demographics of their districts.
What we have learned from our years of organizing and running black immigration campaigns is that there is a deep immigration closet. Black immigrants are identified by others, and even sometimes by themselves, as Black Americans. By highlighting documented black immigrants, we can begin to look at all aspects of immigration reform and those affected by it, and to veer away from the idea of immigrants as illegal, undocumented workers. This idea was most profoundly exemplified at our Black Immigration rally in Washington, D.C., in which four of our eight Black Congressional Caucus members announced that they were children and grandchildren of Black immigrants. Since that day in March, we have come across many other high profile G's, and the G project is the culmination of this.
The mission of The Black Institute is to shape intellectual discourse and dialogue to impact public policy uniquely from a Black perspective (a perspective which includes all people of color in the United States and throughout the Diaspora). The Black Institute (TBI) is an "Action Tank" - A think tank that takes action. By implementing a three-part strategy: Knowledge (research, data gathering, polling and academic partnerships); Leadership (civic education, training and development); and Community (ground organizing and issue based campaigns), TBI changes the direction of public debate, trains and educates new leadership and develops initiatives to build wealth, build power and deliver justice to Black people and people of color. Our four areas of focus are Economic Fairness, Education, Environmental Justice, and Immigration.